I am interested to hear from other breeders what are your criteria for determining that a hatchling is ready to go to a new home? I have seen some people say 3 meals, I have seen some say 5 meals. I am just curious from the community what guideline you follow and why? What other benchmarks do you look for when determining that you are comfortable letting a baby go? Just thought it would be fun to hear people’s opinions/approach. Looking forward to your comments. Thanks
The breeders I know wait til first shed and that they take at least 3 meals in a row without help. I’ve also heard that they will feed twice and week. However, this is my first year, I’m leaning more toward waiting til first shed and Keep them for a month while taking consecutive meals.
A lot comes into play for example an extremely small animal that hatch at 35 or 40 grams I would not let go even with 5 meals, now one that hatch at 65/75 grams or more I may let go with 3 meals.
In reality starting this year I am no longer letting anything go under 100 grams, why? Because a lot of people do not do the proper research and need troubleshooting so the bigger the animal the better the chances this animal has while they are trying to figure it out.
I think it depends on who you’re selling to. If you are selling pet quality snakes to beginners or to pet stores that you don’t know the level of training the staff have, you probably should be making sure that the snakes are very well started compared to snakes being sold to more experienced keepers and breeders who won’t panic if faced with a fussy hatchling.
You must have been on the same wavelength as me the other day, I wanted to make a post similar to this after getting my hatchling. He was on the breeders website ready to be sold only 2 weeks after being hatched, which people thought was a little too early. I always heard that 2-3 feedings and one shed and then they can be shipped, but I haven’t bred snakes…yet…
My hatchling was born on 6/14/2020 and I received him on 6/30/2020. He still is anxious around me, still very flighty. But I am proud to say that he hasnt tagged me yet and after a couple live feedings, I have successfully gotten him to eat frozen/thawed (with much trial and effort). I bought him online and had him shipped to me, totally different from my first snake, who I got at an expo at around 1-2months old (I’m assuming due to her weight) and had no problem adjusting to her new enclosure and eating frozen/thawed right off the bat. Looking back on it now I wish I would’ve bought a snake that was better established at eating. I don’t think snakes should be sold @2weeks old, but from what I see online, that’s the norm.
Not a breeder yet but I have heard that 5 feedings usually is a safe way to get them established. My girl Bellatrix was sold to me after 5 feedings, however, the breeder didn’t tell me she was a terrible eater and skipped meals everytime she was offered one. Not until I had received her that is. It took me nearly until she was a year old to get her to finally eat consistently, even with a small tub, tight hides and proper temps/humidity. At one point she even went on strike for around 3 months. She was just below 100 grams at almost a year because of the breeder not getting her properly established before sending her to me. She is nearing 2 years old at 400 grams, and hasn’t been picky since I sacrificed a live mouse and then a fresh killed mouse to her.
Due to this experience, 5 meals shouldn’t mean just 5 in general. It needs to be in a row with no refusals at all. Sadly most large breeders aren’t willing to put that much work into all of their babies. @stewart_reptiles With her new approach is also good, since that will allow babies to get plenty of meals in. Once I start breeding I will also make sure they take frozen thawed before being shipped, since most pet owners don’t have access to live and don’t know the tricks to switch snakes over.
If an animal is sold at 2 weeks it is not well started, hatclhings have their first shed 10 to 14 days after they hatch and only after that first shed are they offered their very first meal, so if you are lucky your snake has had 1 meal at best.
Sadly some breeders even sell animals that haven’t even had their first shed yet, some people only care to move animals out as fast as possible and lower their cost with little care for what happens next.
I can’t imagine letting a baby go at 2 weeks old. I generally tell buyers that the snake has to have a minimum of 3 consecutive meals and I have to feel that it is doing well and thriving. If I feel like 3 meals isn’t enough I wait. I would much rather spend a few bucks on extra feedings than set someone up for a hard time, or worse put the baby at risk. I haven’t been breeding for a long time, but this just makes sense to me. I wouldn’t want to buy a snake that isn’t established, so I wouldn’t sell one to someone else that isn’t. The health of the baby and happiness of the new owner is top priority.